Links 11/18/2023

The Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend. Here’s how to see it

Watch a Buck Nearly Enter a Hunter’s Home to Pick a Fight with a Deer Head on the Wall Field & Stream

RIP Goldman Sachs Business Insider

Citigroup set to announce first big round of lay-offs FT


‘It feels like I’m not crazy.’ Gardeners aren’t surprised as USDA updates key map NPR

Writer Kim Stanley Robinson: ‘If the world fails, business fails’ FT

Arctic Ocean Heatstroke Arctic News


A small hydroelectric plant with big water rights is the center of a proposal to keep Colorado River water flowing west Colorado Sun


The flu is soaring in seven US states and rising in others, health officials say AP. The headline is deceptive: “Tracking during flu season relies in part on reports of people with flu-like symptoms who go to doctor’s offices or hospitals; many people with the flu are not tested, so their infections aren’t lab-confirmed. COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses can sometimes muddy the picture.” So — and I know this might surpirise you — the infections may not be the flu, but [euphemism] “the flu”? The data is bad. Why? ‘Tis a mystery!

Experts recommend isolating dogs amid respiratory ‘mystery illness’ FOX. Why is this happening? ‘Tis a mystery!

* * *

Nearly half of US veterans had long-COVID symptoms up to 6 months later Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (Jason Boxman).

Covid will be a leading cause of death in the U.S. indefinitely, whether or not the pandemic is ‘over’ NBC. Another tranche of Rule #2 lethality, laid down over Fentanyl/OxyContin, deaths of despair, High Fructose Corn Syrup….


U.S.-China Summit: Did Joe Biden Get Anything from Xi? The National Interest

CNA Explains: How crucial was the Xi Jinping-Joe Biden meet, and what does it mean for US-China ties? Channel News Asia

* * *

The Collapse of China’s Real Estate Bubble: Causes and Consequences

Chinese Navy’s Suspected New Overseas Base In Cambodia Now Even Larger Naval News

* * *

Why businesses are pulling billions in profits from China BBC

Chinese anti-graft watchdog probes death of businessman questioned in bribery case South China Morning Post

Inefficient air-cons are being dumped in Southeast Asia. That’s costly for consumers and the climate Channel News Asia

The Koreas

South Koreans sit key exam as flights halted to limit distraction Channel News Asia


Send America’s Floating Hospitals to Gaza Bloomberg. A very obvious thing to do, with no downside. Why aren’t we doing it?

* * *

‘You made me do it’ London Review of Books. Works well in conjunction with:

my resignation Anne Boyer, Mirabilary

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Israel and America’s Growing Zugzwang Simplicius the Thinker(s). Good aggregation, Zugzwang is a fine Word of the Day, but otherwise…. sometimes simpler than possible?

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TikTok teens aren’t stanning Osama bin Laden Garbage Day. Another OBL letter, more amusing:

Smearing Photojournalists as Hamas Collaborators Gets Them Added to a Hit List FAIR

New Not-So-Cold War

Russo-Ukrainian War: The Reckoning Big Serge. Magisterial, a must-read.

‘Fiery hell’: Ukraine secures multiple strategic areas along eastern bank of Dnipro River France24. Cope and stunts.

* * *

Redefining Success in Ukraine Richard Haass and Charles Kupchan, Foreign Affairs. Gently lowering Ukraine under the bus?

The Case for Supporting Ukraine Is Crystal Clear Michael McFaul, Foreign Policy

* * *

Zelenskyy dismisses deputy head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service Ukrainska Pravda. Hmm.

Ukraine says 151 ships have used Black Sea corridor Hellenic Shipping News

South of the Border

Key takeaways from the bilateral Biden-López Obrador meeting Mexico News Daily

Establishment insider or political provocateur? Argentina faces stark presidential choice France24

Biden Administration

Biden facing growing internal dissent over Israel’s Gaza campaign BBC. Too much even for the State Department.


Judge rules Trump ‘incited’ Jan. 6 riots, but can remain on Colorado primary ballot The Hill. Interestingly, the Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment didn’t apply to Presidents, because they are not “officers of the United States” (previewed on September 7). However, getting a Court to rule that Trump “incited” an insurrection strikes me at Democrats getting a judge to do an end-run around their own Justice Department, which was not willing to charge Trump with insurrection. So this “win” for Trump may end up being a loss, if other courts cite to the Colorado decision.

Political questions and Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment Election Law Blog

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K-pop star Rosé joins first lady Jill Biden to talk mental health AP. Rosé of Blackpink (“First Girl Group with 9 songs to surpass 500 Million streams on Spotify.” That’s a lot). Smart move!

Spook Country

Return of the messenger: How Jeremy Renner’s new film Kill The Messenger will vindicate Sacramento investigative journalist Gary Webb Sacramento News and Review


Is it Google “magic” or just user data? Big Tech on Trial. Theory of the case. Well worth a read. From the author’s live tweeting:

Which concludes:

Seems like a long time. Stoller is not happy:

Is There an Establishment Plan to Repeal Antitrust Laws? Matt Stoller, BIG. I linked to this yesterday on the 2024 aspects; today, on “anti-monopoly thought.”


AI boss Sam Altman ousted after board loses confidence BBC. “The board said Mr Altman had not been ‘consistently candid with his communications’, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” As above, so below: A firm whose product generates bullshit had a CEO who generated bullshit. My dream is that AI’s enshittification cycle proceeds rapidly and with great force, and that venture capital loses a packet.

From Algorithmic Monoculture to Epistemic Monoculture? Understanding the Rise of AI Safety Crooked Timber

* * *

The Devices That Will Read Your Brain—and Enhance It WSJ. Helpful when Covid brain damage goes mainstream. Presumably the wearables would have a “Functioning Brain as a Service” business model? With monthly payments?

Our Famously Free Press

One-third of U.S. newspapers as of 2005 will be gone by 2024 Axios. Thanks, hedgies.

Science is Popping

Design principles of 3D epigenetic memory systems Science. From the Abstract: “Cells remember their identities, in part, by using epigenetic marks—chemical modifications placed along the genome. How can mark patterns remain stable over cell generations despite their constant erosion by replication and other processes? We developed a theoretical model that reveals that three-dimensional (3D) genome organization can stabilize epigenetic memory….” Worth struggling through to get the gist.

Imperial Collapse Watch

U.S. Air Force Secretary Warns Development of Urgently Needed ICBM ‘Struggling’: Program Collapse Possible Military Watch

Behind the Scenes at a U.S. Factory Building New Nuclear Bombs Scientific American

Guillotine Watch

Smart People New Left Review

What America’s shoplifting panic is really about CNN

Class Warfare

Big 3 autoworkers vote ‘yes’ to historic UAW contracts NPR

US labor board delays new employment rule after business groups sue AP

Are Real Wages Rising? Apricitas Economics. But what about hedonic adjustment? As for example–

New study reveals 1 in 4 remote workers are sneaking off to have sex while on the job FOX. Many health benefits!

Clark (2023) and the Persistence of Hereditarian Fallacies (preprint) bioRxiv. From the Abstract: “These conclusions are based on a misconstrual of model parameters, which conflates genetic and non-genetic transmission (e.g. of wealth) within families.”

Maps, Power, and Identity JSTOR Daily

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. ilsm

    New ICBM.

    The usual suppliers have not been able to develop a new launch vehicle, why SPACE-X is rising.

    Maybe Musk could do ICBM?

    Killing a ‘new pentagon system” would be a first!

    1. urdsama

      Only if you want it to blow up on the launch pad.

      If Musk and Space-X are the future of space flight, there is no future.

      1. Wukchumni

        Yo VIP, let’s kick it
        Ice age, ice age baby
        Ice age, ice age baby

        Alright stop, collaborate and listen
        Ice age is back with brand new cold convection
        Something grabs a hold of land tightly
        Flow like a frozen wave daily and nightly
        Will it ever stop? Yo, I don’t know
        Turn off the soil and on ice what can you grow?

        To the extreme, it’ll rock the MIC like a vandal
        Light up a stage and wax an ICBM like a candle
        Dance, go rush to the money that go boom
        I’m killing your brain like a poisonous nuclear mushroom

        Deadly, when I play a climate zugzwang melody
        Anything less than the best is a felony
        Love it or leave it, you better gangway
        You better hit bull’s eye, the atmosphere don’t play
        If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it
        Check out the free freezers while the ice floes hit

        Ice, ice baby
        Vanilla colored Ice, ice baby

        Vanilla colored Ice, ice baby
        Vanilla colored Ice, ice baby

        Now that the climate change party is jumping
        When the frozen kicked in, with all that oil pumping
        Quick to the point, to the point, no faking
        Cooking MICs like a pound of bacon
        Burning them, if you ain’t quick and nimble
        I go crazy when I hear there goes a symbol
        And hi-lo temps with a souped up tempo
        I’m on a roll, it’s time to go Han Solo

        Yo mankind, let’s get out of here
        Word to your mother

        Ice, ice baby, too cold
        Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold
        Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold
        Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold

        Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice

        1. griffen

          Bravo, well done. I can still hear that tune playing in my high school days, riding around in a friend’s Pontiac Fiero. Yes I said it, a Pontiac Fiero !

          Now get off my lawn, with your catchy lyrics darn it. There is another catchy cover of that above song, performed by Jim Carrey as a skit on “In Living Color” and it is hilarious.

          1. Wukchumni

            Thanks, it floe’d nicely.

            My wife’s sister bought a brand new Fiero and got into an accident leaving the car dealership in what was agreed to be an ominous start to her relationship with 4 wheels bad.

            1. ambrit

              This Christmas, give the gift of rapt.
              “Bow wo wo, yippie yo, yippie yeah,”
              “Bow wo, yippie yo, yippie yeah.”

              1. ambrit

                I forgot to give the attribution to the song ‘sampled.’
                I think it’s from H Clinton’s “Computer Games” album. Another associated tune the Wukz might approve of is “One Nation Under A Grove.”

                  1. ambrit

                    It will get your attention.
                    The joke is that the original sighting of George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” is off of his album, “Clinton’s Computer Games.” Now, H for Hillary Clinton’s ‘computer games’ would be her having that private, secret server at her home that held all of those Tippy Top Secret e-mails when she was Secretary of State.
                    This crew can never pass up an opportunity to have some fun with Hillz and her Cabal.
                    I have always wanted to use the Civil Defense warning as my ringtone.
                    Sharp, shrill whine sound, then, “This is not a test!” I think it crosses a few legal lines though. Oh well.
                    Be safe!

        1. Wukchumni

          The tipping point that gives me the most agita is when they hand you the credit card terminal with suggested gratuity amounts, grrrrrrrrr.

          But I get it, we’re so screwed…

          1. mrsyk

            I love those. I wish they had audio, maybe a polite tennis clap at 15% for instance. You can figure out the rest. Something the whole room will hear. Tipped industries would do well to take advantage of the performative nature of gratuity.

  2. Pat

    That is a beautiful cat and a beautiful photograph. If it is a barn cat, they are very good at it. If it is a house cat, they are well loved.
    (And I love the decorated window frame.)

    1. Lena

      It looks like the window frame of a traditional Russian wooden house to me, although they are often painted. A lovely picture, lovely cat.

      1. Lexx

        Mmmmmmm, so much texture and high contrast. It was well burned in the printing to focus attention on the cat.

        I was also wondering about the carved-in flower. Russia wasn’t on my list of possibilities. Thanks!

        1. ambrit

          I was wondering if the “carved in flower” wasn’t a Hex Sign, often put upon barns and houses by the Pennsylvania Dutch as warding sigils against evil spirits. Only your braucher knows for sure.

        2. R.S.

          Yep, it’s Russian.

          Carved window frames are a very East Slavic thing. Similar styles exist in Germany and Poland, but once you get into the Russian area, so to speak, they are everywhere. This one is very simple. Here are some examples of rather intricate ones.

          They aren’t even “disappearing”, they just belong to a certain style and type of housing that is not that popular nowadays.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Decorated window frames are a thing in the whole North-Eastern Taiga, although Russian and Norwegian tend to be the most flamboyant.

            What is confusing in that photo is that the frame has been sunk in to the wall, which is not usually done. When the log wall settles, the logs compress somewhat so the frame has to have extra space above to allow for the compression. So sinking the frame adds a lot of complexity to what is otherwise relatively simple way of construction.

            I think only few examples I’ve seen have been Norwegian. But I’m no expert on these things, so any location between Trondheim and Jakutsk wouldn’t surprise me.

            1. R.S.

              TIL. I’ve skimmed through some “folk museums” and pictures of “traditional Scandi houses” in general. It’s the same approach. Not a rip-off or something, like I’ve never seen turf roofs around Russia, and a pro would probably find a hundred minor details and techniques that differ. But very similar.

  3. Wukchumni

    Writer Kim Stanley Robinson: ‘If the world fails, business fails’ FT

    He estimates that he has also spent a total of two years of his life camping in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, whose raw otherworldly beauty is the subject of his latest published book, 2022’s non-fiction The High Sierra: A Love Story
    KSR is a decade older than me, but other than that we’re kindred spirits on the same path of enlightenment in the range of light.

    We’re both off-trail enthusiasts where the path ahead is what you make it based upon the lay of the land, to which business has never turned a profit or loss-that rare place where money doesn’t matter and the only payment in kind is a certain satisfaction.

    This tends to skew your way of thinking when everything else in the world has a price tag on it, and relies on business.

    1. Carolinian

      the path ahead is what you make it

      Easier when you are above the tree line. One of our local parks celebrated its 100 year anniversary by having a company come in and clear out all the trail choking understory. So now you can indeed make your own path because all the existing ones have been obliterated.

      This “managed” nature is visually appealing and if you add some rolled lawns you could be in Blighty. But one does wonder how the fantastic expense is justified. Is all that fiber headed off to Norway in the form of wood pellets?

      1. Wukchumni

        Around these parts its more the poison oak zone which is the true Mason/Dixon line that goes to say 5,500 feet, and Johnny Reb spreads out like wildfire and practically screams, er, please stay away, y’all.

        When we had Mexican drug cartels growing 420 in the NP, this is where they would operate off-trail, knowing nobody goes there.

        Above that, you never know what impediment is gonna be in your way, as topo maps say nothing about the plant/tree makeup of the area, nor how much duff is on the ground and are deadfalls all over the place impeding travel, that’s where the power of observation kicks in.

        As far as I can tell in driving around both sides of the Sierra, the only management has been clearing out the sides of mountain roads from 50 feet to 100 feet on each side of all downed wood and dead standing trees, as if there was one terrifying thing about the Paradise Fire was how everything was burning right on top of drivers, practically.

        We saw extensive work being done in Yosemite Valley in June, in terms of say $50-100 million worth of heavy equipment clearing out burnables along the roads and put into burn piles and everything was burning or would be soon, in our 3 day stay.

        There was a lawsuit filed against Sequoia NP in Sept…

        On September 25, 2023, Wilderness Watch, Sequoia ForestKeeper, and Tule River Conservancy filed a lawsuit against the National Park Service (NPS), challenging the agency’s unlawful decision to implement extensive and motorized tree cutting and burning across thousands of acres of designated Wilderness within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

        NPS authorized the project through an October 2022 decision memorandum that was styled as constituting “alternative arrangements” for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). However, the agency short-circuited NEPA’s requirements for public involvement and environmental review. Furthermore, the thousands of acres of tree cutting with chainsaws and other motorized activity directly contravenes earlier plans implemented by NPS, which acknowledged the ways in which such activity is unlawful within Wilderness.

        There are thousands of dead trees from the KNP Fire that are dangerously close to roads that can’t be cut by ‘motorized tree cutting’, because of this lawsuit~

        1. JBird4049

          I understand why someone would be suspicious when mass tree cutting is being done. However, one of the reasons for the fires in California being so bad is because of all the blasted uncleared forest. The uncleared, unburnt, overgrown forest where small communities and narrow roads are.

          Where I am right now in the Bay Area, I can easily visualize Paradise writ large because people love trees, but they do not want to clear the areas around their communities, forget individual homes, nor do they want the fire departments to do any clear burns because they are ugly.

          I do stupid stuff all the time, but I am baffled by the lack of concern or preparation for future fire seasons. Or all the narrow streets in hills or deep in forest with houses. Of course, large, lethal fires are not that common, but so are earthquakes.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ”I Meme Therefore I Am 🇺🇸
    Osama bin Laden BANNED al Qaeda in his 2010 letter from trying to assassinate Joe Biden because he believed he would be an incompetent president and ‘lead the US into a crisis’.’

    As much as I dislike al Qaeda, I have to admit their professionalism. Every President and Vice President has their own US Secret Service detail who are entrusted to keep their charges alive and safe from danger. But from 2010 when that letter was written until old Joe was elected President in 2020, nobody knew about the al Qaeda protection detail that followed old Joe around the country and even overseas to keep him safe. They did such a professional job that not even the US Secret Service detail’s ring around old Joe saw or even realized that there was an outer ring around them that would put down threats to old Joe and stop random lunatics from getting too close. And after 2020 it was mission accomplished for them as they went back home to a well earned rest. Best investment al Qaeda ever made.

    1. Alice X

      >TikTok teens aren’t stanning Osama bin Laden Garbage Day.

      The author, Ryan Broderick, doesn’t touch upon the content of the Osama bin Laden 2002 letter. It is an extremely important historical document. If the letter had been widely read in 2002, Americans might have had a different view. They certainly might have seen through the puerile statement of the Bush regime that they hate us for our freedoms.

      In a nutshell, al Qaeda attacked the US because of its interference in Muslim countries and its support of Israel. The letter, deleted from the Guardian site can be found here.

      Glenn Greenwald covered this here.

      Broderick also doesn’t acknowledge that TikTok, in taking an such aggressive approach in taking down so many individual posts, is conducting gross censorship.

      He totally misses the boat.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Sending hospital ships to Gaza.

    In a daring maneuver (maybe), the Italians sent the naval hospital ship Vulcano to Gaza on 8 November. According to reports here, it was done without much consultation of so-called allies. They may have consulted with the French, who sent the ship Tonnerre at the end of October.

    I think that we all know the reason for the U.S. shortcoming here: For Anglo-America, it’s all about empire and making others suffer.

    1. The Rev Kev

      At the moment the US Navy really has only two hospital ships – the USNS Comfort and the USNC Mercy. They could send both those ships to Gaza but would they actually do anything once there? Back in 2020 to deal with the massive number of Covid cases, the Comfort was dispatched to New York while the Mercy was sent to Los Angeles – where both ship essentially twiddled their thumbs and both ships combined only ever saw about three dozen patients. It was a bad joke-

      1. Offtrail

        US policy is “force safety first!”. If there is a choice between sitting still and risking a humanitarian act that might pose a danger to service members, the former will prevail. Doctors and nurses would in any case be hampered by the bulky body armor they would be required to wear while treating potential five year old suicide bombers.

    2. Kouros

      Maybe the Americans remember what happend with USS Liberty and don’t want to risk another ship to be targeted by IOF, which then they will also have to cover to their public…

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        🛎️ 🛎️ 🛎️

        Since the Zionist modus operandi in Gaza is effectively “everything and everyone is Hamas”, this checks out …

  6. Wukchumni

    The Leonid meteor shower is known for producing some of the most amazing meteor displays in the annals of astronomy. Most notable are meteor storms such as in 1799, 1833 and 1966 when meteor rates of tens of thousands per hour were observed. More recently, in 1999, 2001 and 2002, lesser Leonid displays of up “only” a few thousand meteors per hour took place.

    A gaggle of around a dozen of us ventured out towards Red Rock Canyon on Highway 14 to find a prime place to watch the Leonids in 2002, and found a dirt road that went back to a wide canyon, perfect!

    The problem with meteors is that they don’t show up @ 8:25 PM when I go to sleep, so my best chance usually is to fall asleep early and get up @ 3’ish, early bird gets the worm, er meteor tail.

    So we make dinner and get into our drinks and a friend had brought this ridiculously huge area carpet of something like 20×40 feet, which we all laid chaise lounges upon and I fall asleep pretty early, and get nudged awake at least 6x according to my friends, who rallied me repeatedly after midnight to see as many as 6 or 7 in the air @ one time for long stretches, the best showing i’ve ever seen.

    This group of eyewitness accounts of the amazing 1966 Leonid meteor shower is quite something. Most of California was clouded over so we missed out on the show, of which approx 100,000 per hour @ the max.

    An account from Mojave, Ca.

    Meteorites began to appear by 10:30 PM; there were about three or four every five minutes. At the time that seemed extraordinary, but by 12:30 it was raining stars over the entire sky. We were in a dark, desert valley bowl, rimmed by mountains; the Sierras were in the west. By 2:00 AM it was a “blizzard”. There was the unnerving feeling that the mountains were being set on fire. Falling stars filled the entire sky to the horizon, yet it was silent. If these Leonids had been hail, we wouldn’t have been able to hear each other. If they had been a show of fireworks, we would have been deaf.

    We drove south, toward Pasadena, around 4:00 AM and stopped in Lancaster at the Desert Inn for coffee. People were going about normal business without apparent astonishment that the sky was falling above their heads (though surely they must have noticed before I saw them walking so casually into the coffee shop). The sky was still “raining” then, though the “blizzard” had passed. Perhaps it seems commonplace when such a display lasts for
    hours; business must go on, the milk delivered, etc. After all, who would believe such a thing, in the daylight, the next morning?

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      I had a similar experience watching the Leonids during the 1999 episode, but in central Florida. I had a long consulting gig in the Melbourne area and was staying in a mom and pop motel on the beach. It was surprisingly dark and I sat on the sand shortly before midnight watching the meteors flying overhead from east to west. I didn’t clock them but it seemed like I saw at least one a minute. On several occasions I heard a sizzling sound as they passed overhead, which did not seem possible. Perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Nearly half of US veterans had long-COVID symptoms up to 6 months later”

    They were breaking down those figures by such factors as race, age, number of shots, medical problems, etc. but I would have thought that an important factor to note was how many of them were living in barracks and how many were living off-base. An examination of that factor might have come up with some useful data about how they were infected and how often.

    1. stan barkley

      Veterans, not active duty. I am unaware of any vets living in barracks. I am not surprised that over 50% had long covid, they are not a healthy group to start with.

    2. Ignacio

      I very much agree. Some kinds of analyses look like made to ensure the necessary and revealing ones aren’t made. That was the feeling I had when reading the article and you have settled it nicely Rev.

          1. ambrit

            “Hint: mere distraction.”
            The problem is that there are so many candidates for what the “distraction” could be steering us away from.

    3. ilsm

      US Dept of Veteran Affairs is “building” a million person data base to track veterans health long term.

      WRT this study, the subject likely use DVA health system, and if in the data base would be easy to peal onion back for subsets.

      I started the entry, stopped. I felt the questions more than I should share.

      I occasionally see a request to enter the million vet data base. I will not.

      I do not use DVA health care.

  8. Richard Martin

    Why do the Americans always talk about “the” flu? Only Americans do this. No other English-speaking country does so. They just talk about “flu”. I mean, you don’t say,”I have the cold”. Or, “my grandmother has the pneumonia”. Or even, “I have the influenza”. So where does “the flu” come from?

    1. Yves Smith

      No one says, “I have cold”. They say, “I have a cold.”

      Colds are always with us and more or less the same, so “a cold” as in one of a prototypical many.

      “The flu” is the seasonal flu type which in North America starts around October. The symptoms of “the flu” are usually more specific and variable than of “a cold”. For instance, one year “the flu” was a 24-36 hour can’t-get-out-of- bed-without-extreme-effort event featuring severe vomiting and diarrhea.

  9. digi_owl

    Sadly even the twitter source do not specify the location of that antidote, as the building it is resting on intrigues me.

    1. R.S.

      You won’t believe… I felt like I should give it a try, and found it in less than half an hour. It must be some feline magic. Just crazy.

      Lohova’s house, mid-19th century, originally from Vashkino village, former Kostroma Governorate (now in Nizhny Novgorod oblast). Now in “Kostromskaya Sloboda” open-air museum, in Kostroma (Russia).

      Here’s someone’s LiveJournal entry with pictures. Even if you can’t read Russian (ahem…), the 5th & 6th photos are clearly the same window, just with winter glass frames installed.

      1. Lena

        Excellent research! Thank you. From another picture, it appears that white kitty is a beloved resident at “Kostromskaya Sloboda”, the open air museum of wooden architecture in Kostroma. Probably a fine mouser!

      2. digi_owl


        And once more i am stuck pondering why the Nordics are so hostile to Russia, when clearly there has been quite a bit of cultural exchange in times past.

        1. ambrit

          That would depend on what ‘Russia’ we are speaking of. There are, from my admittedly amateuer observations on the subject, at least three ‘Russias’ in play.
          One is the European “Rus.” who are plain old Northmen, allied with the Nordics by blood.
          Then there are the Asiatic Russians, the descendants of the Golden Horde that overran the area now known as Russia between 1247 and 1480 AD.
          Then there are the many Asiatics such as the Turkic peoples of the south and the Siberians of the northeast.
          As for why the ‘Nordics’ seem so hostile to the Russians, well, remember that “family fights” are the worst kind.

          1. Polar Socialist

            The idea that the ‘Rus’ were Germanic people is from the 19th century Sweden. There’s really nothing to back that up.

            What is more and more obvious, is that north of the Moscow – Kazan line, “Slavic expansion” was as much about the Fenno-Ugric tribes switching to Russian than actual population movement. Even today from around Valdai and Jaroslav the waterway names are mostly in Finnic langages.

            And the middle-age Novogorodian river pirates were called ‘ushkuyniks’ from the really fast boat they used, ‘uskuy’ from Finnic ‘uisko’.

            And of course according to the archeological evidence, the Finnic material culture dominates in the hillforts controlling the Northern Russian waterways at the time of the Vikings, then starting slowly to be dominated by Russian artefacts. If there ever were any Northmen, they didn’t leave much stuff behind.

            One of the most revered Russian folk hero, Ilya Muromets, apparently was Finnic (Muromets meaning ‘of/from Muroma’ – both a place and a Finnic tribe). One of Ilya’s brother-in-arms during his adventures is Väinämöinen, the main character from the Finnish epic Kalevala.

            1. R.S.

              Well, the Scandinavian “Rus”, the River Vikings, did exist. But it seems that they were not numerous and, tongue in cheek, more like expats than genuine settlers. They either assimilated or left for the greener pastures.

              As for the Finno-Ugrics, I tried to find a comprehensive genetic study (and failed). As far as I get it, those studies generally come to the conclusion that modern Russians are more like a blot, overlapping with other East Slavs and Poles and bleeding towards (but not reaching) modern Volga Finns. So assimilation and cultural conversion were definitely a thing. AFAIR in the 19th cent. it was a major talking point, framed as an embarrassment, as various “Finns” were considered to be inferior non-Europeans back then.

              And as for the Genghisids (the Mongols), they just didn’t settle in the forest zone. They devastated the southern lands, subjugated the local dynasty, but didn’t mingle that much with the locals. It was mostly taxes, political games, occasional local wars and slave raids. Harsh, but not exactly colonization.

            2. Irrational

              The Tzars intermarried with most European royal houses (viz. the English king talking about “Cousin Nicky”).
              The Vikings definitely went all over the place along the Volga.
              A case of something we know vs something we must fear?

  10. Robert Gray

    > New study reveals 1 in 4 remote workers are sneaking off to have sex while on the job FOX.

    heh heh

    In the UK, ‘on the job’ used to be — maybe still is? — a colloquial expression meaning … having sex.

    1. Lefty Godot

      “Sneaking off”? Wouldn’t doing it in front of their screens be even more, uh, deplorable? One never knows when Google or Microsoft may decide to turn the computer’s camera on for telematics data collection purposes. Certainly one should instead applaud these individuals’ sense of modesty!

    1. Neutrino

      I’m old enough to remember when shoplifting was done mainly by middle school boys and by starving people. Some progression!

      Now there is a pathetic shamelessness of carting off stuff just because someone can. Separating need from want from impulse control has exposed what remains of right and wrong. Like people once recognized and emulated. With all the modeling of improper behavior in the halls of power like Washington, Wall Street, CalPERS, many District Attorney offices and the list goes on, the only surprise is that it took so long.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        A few months ago, I was in line at Wal-Mart at a regular check stand in the middle of a weekday. Of the 20 or so check stands only 2-3 were open. The self check-out corral was fully busy with a long line to use it.

        Someone behind me said “No wonder people walk out without paying. It is taking way to long to check out and I need to get back to work.” There was a low murmer of agreement all along the line.

    1. albrt

      Funny how hard it is for people to understand the reaction of the Zoomers. They were told all their lives that OBL was Voldemort, he was just being evil because he was evil. They have discovered that he was human “with many reasons why” as Phil Ochs put it. Some of his reasons seem very timely and relatable right now, some do not.

  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    Big Serge Thought: The Reckoning. The end. Worth your while indeed. As ever, Big Serge has plenty of details but also makes much effort here to synthesize.

    Noting this: “More abstractly, the war in Ukraine was transformed into an American entertainment product, complete with celebrity wonder weapons (like Saint Javelin and the HIMARS), groan-inducing references to American pop culture, visits from American celebrities, and voiceovers from Luke Skywalker. All of this fit very naturally with American sensibilities, because Americans ostensibly love underdogs, and in particularly spunky underdogs who overcome extreme odds through perseverance and grit.”

    Or: Ukraine in which the U.S. public was gullible, fickle, and undermined its own ideas of itself by supporting those nice buff blondie Azovnazies. I worry that stampeding the public about Ukraine is going to happen in Gaza, too. What happens when the U.S. public gets bored of atrocities?

    I recommend reading all the way down into the sections on strategic exhaustion and self-cannibalization. Even Big Serge admits that they are technical. But what do they say? It’s over for Ukraine. Grim and necessary news.

    1. Lex

      I second the recommendation of the Big Serge link. It’s an excellent summation of the whole situation with important, technical context that makes it (reliably) predictive. What looks like stasis from the perspective of US media right now is most likely prologue to an irreversible shift in momentum. It still won’t lead to some big arrow offensive on Kiev or anywhere else.

      What can’t be easily predicted is where Kiev’s breaking point is and how things might go in that scenario. It seems clear that Zelensky won’t do the smart thing and fall back to better defensive lines with the associated posture that would extract a significant cost from Russia. It may not be seriously feasible at this point. My question remains, if there is a major crack in the front will Russia exploit it rapidly or not? I’m not sure it will. Putin seems content with applying pressure such that Zelensky and Ukraine fall under their own weight rather than a blow from Russia. That may be more effective in a geopolitical context than a resounding Russian military victory.

      1. Ignacio

        Apart from highly educative it is refreshing to come apart from MSM noises to something that looks “naive” in comparison because it doesn’t have secondary intentions as most media have. Big Serge is just trying to order the details (acknowledging the limitations in data gathering) and get the elementary conclusions. I can imagine PMC types reading this with revolving stomachs and saying to themselves NO, NO, NO! He is not considering that free markets always prevail because they (we) are superior.

    2. Laoba

      I found it puzzling why people still pay attention to these two guys: Big Serge and Simplicus. Go back a year and look at their records of predicting. They are way off. Of course if your goal is to keep fooling yourself, they are good source for you.

      1. Ignacio

        Thanks god we have the Laobas of the world who illuminate us with their wisdom. So egregious they don’t feel the need to enter the argument.

        1. ambrit

          Fully agree. Since this is the Internet, perhaps we could rename this logical fallacy as an “Ad bottinem.”
          However, in some circles, facts free argumentation is all the rage.

      2. chris

        Ok…what details in the Big Serge article do you think are incorrect? The author lays down some pretty convincing analysis. Something that has been missing from all discussion and opinions coming out of the west since February 2022. Or is your post just a drive-by “Ukraine can’t lose!” style response?

        I wonder if they need to open a new wing of the Betty Ford clinic to handle all the mental breakdowns from the reality of Ukraine hitting people this coming year? The Kagans and the Nulands and the Freelands will all need padded rooms soon…

  12. mrsyk

    Re Simplicus, does anyone have color on “The resistance is academic in Iraq”? The quote can be seen near the bottom of the “official statement”.

    1. Louis Fyne

      As the Iraq attacks are buried in the NYT, Blibkeb visited Iraq wearing a flak jacket (and annoucement of casualties slow-walked) those facts by itself should make one question the official narratice.

      The Iraqi resistance want the US out, the Iraqi govt complicitly agrees, and the US does not have the resources to say otherwise if someone ever tries to overrun those bases.

      the “escalation ladder” is completely controlled by Iraqi resistance.

      Do not be surprised if the US gets Dien Bien Phu’ed in Iraq.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not long ago the Iraq Parliament voted for the US troops to leave the country – but then the US refused. So legally that makes those troops illegal occupiers and unfortunately fair game for attacks.

  13. Ken Murphy

    The shoplifting problem is far deeper than the blithe treatment given in the article. I see it first hand managing a retail store. I see it in my inventory numbers, and I see it on camera, like yesterday when some kids decided to help themselves to some $260 worth of toys.

    The first thing the cop wanted to know was my date of birth and driving license number. Being a libertarian I was exceedingly reluctant to provide it, and so the cop wasn’t interested in making a report. My issue is that as far as I’m concerned, the first thing the cop is going to do is go back to his car and run my info looking for an easy bust for something since he knows right where I am. Am I paranoid? Sure, but I’ve also had my identity stolen, and I know my SSN has been used by illegal immigrants. I don’t know what kind of nonsense about me might be in government computers and I’m not terribly inclined to poke that bear to find out. Especially at the end of what was already a really crappy day.

    The cop’s BS rationale was that they needed a victim for a prosecution. I said yeah, the company is the victim, and yeah they want to prosecute. So now I need to go down to police HQ to make a statement where we will go through the rigamarole all over again. But now I get to spend a bunch of time reviewing the Texas legal code to see exactly what kind of information is actually required to be provided in this instance.

    As for Goldman Sachs, that company died in the 90s when they changed from the partnership to an incorporated status. Thought it was a bad idea then when I was the Wall Street credit analyst for BNP, and still think it now when I’m just a citizen disgusted with the FIRE industry.

  14. cnchal

    > RIP Goldman Sachs Business Insider

    As the years passed, my short stint at Goldman continued to give me a sneaky sense of pride. I say “sneaky” because after the global financial crisis of 2008, criticism of the bank — some of it even written by me — mounted dramatically, culminating in Matt Taibbi’s famous piece likening the firm to a “vampire squid.” But here’s the thing: The criticism always contained a trace of awe. There was a mystique to Goldman. It was cool and competent. Even when it lost hundreds of millions on a trading bet gone awry, or intentionally screwed its own clients, well, that had a certain swagger to it. Being a partner at Goldman meant you were part of the greatest wealth-creation machine the world had ever known.

    Goldman 666 ought to have been taken out behind the barn and shot. Instead, former President Pitchfork Absorber OKd the overnight napkin doodle transformation into a bank so they could be bailed out of their criminality.

    Wall Street is a festering boil on the ass of humanity.

  15. britzklieg

    “Kill the Messenger” and the linked article about it are 10 years old.

    The resonance of Gary Webb’s serious effort and tragic end was short lived.

    Vindication only matters if people notice it.

    It’s a very good movie and can be rented on apple tv, amazon prime, redbox and VUDU for 4 bucks.

    1. Bugs

      I thought that was odd especially because Renner hasn’t made a movie since his really severe accident getting run over by a snow removal tractor.

    2. griffen

      It is still a great story and a highly recommended film to watch (which to be honest, I sort of stumbled into watching that a few years back on the Netflix service). I thought Jeremy Renner did a really thorough, solid portrayal of the character. Now I’m talking myself into a second viewing.

      Also a good reminder…look at what the Post and the NY Times were up to back then. So, the initial reporting circa 2019 on the accursed Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” was just those institutions carrying the water once again for someone in DC.

      1. pjay

        Thanks for this reference. The late Robert Parry also wrote extensively about this; his work is archived at Consortium News for those interested.

        This is such an aggravatingly typical case: (1) A very important story involving clandestine activity by our intelligence community is reported; (2) the CIA uses its media lackeys to smear the reporter and ridicule the story as a loony “conspiracy theory” and paint anyone giving it credence as similarly loony; (3) evidence slowly trickles out that confirms the original story; (4) the story is eventually verified, and in fact the reality is shown to be even worse; but (5) nobody with any power or influence gives a s**t, so (6) rinse and repeat with the next “conspiracy theory,” ad infinitum.

        I strongly recommend the film, and the larger story, as well.

  16. i just dont like the gravy

    Re: new USDA zone map

    I wonder what it will look like in another 10 years after we sit on our hands for another decade

  17. Lex

    The USDA zone hasn’t changed for me, but I’ve always lived in a fairly strange microclimate with a yard that is a microclimate of its own. My 5B is an anomaly that doesn’t extend more than a few miles from the lake shore. 10-15 miles away is more realistically a 3b.

    But in reality, winters keep getting milder though perhaps not in absolute low temperature which is the determining factor of the USDA map. When I moved here in 2005ish winter began by Halloween and didn’t reliably break until the first of May. It hit 55+ this week and I’ll be out in the yard today gathering leaves to chip for leaf mould production. I’m certain I could grow 6a/b perennials along the foundation of the house but early snowfall is no longer reliable and that actually makes slightly out of zone growing more of a gamble.

    1. Lexx

      We are also still 5b but the past few winters have been so mild I thought I’d try an experiment overwintering a couple of plants without bringing them indoors. I grew ginger and lemongrass out on the patio this summer. Husband transferred them to the garden before we went on vacation in September. They were fine until the first real cold hit them, then the tops died back but I expected that. My question is if I keep the roots watered, will they return in the spring or are these plants that don’t recover from winter die-back? I have a lavender plant of a variety I was told takes the Colorado cold well. It’s not nearly as cold as it’s going to get yet and it’s not looking too good. So perhaps the climate hasn’t changed per zone, as much as microclimates have expanded… the truer measure of climate change, as micros become macros.

      1. i just don't like the gravy

        If it’s something precious, like cooking ginger, I’d mulch thoroughly and put a 5gal bucket over top. The key is to keep the tubers above freezing, which can be accomplished with a generous dose of mulch. If you just transplanted the ginger and it’s not far below the soil surface, it will freeze.

        If it’s a hardy lavender like angustifolias, you should be fine. My lavenders always look hagard after winter but are fine with only mulch. Those varieties like French lavender (dentata) absolutely will die back without protection. They are Mediterranean plants after all.

        Here’s a free rabbit hole: try growing “hardy” figs like Hardy Chicago. They fruit on first year wood so even if they die back to the ground the plant still produces abundantly (so long as you let it establish properly). It will survive below ground year over year with just mulch. It will produce vigorously each year from dieback (nature’s coppice).

        Have fun!

        1. Lexx

          Drove downtown yesterday to buy better quality stainless steel cooling racks, and while I waited I purchased a fig that had been dipped in chocolate and ate it slowly savoring the flavor. Yes, figs are on my list of plants to try since the season here is all too brief and what’s available is too expensive for me to preserve much. I splurge and make Husband a small batch of Strawberry-Fig jam once a tear. That’s about it.

          I see ‘Hardy Chicago’ is Zone 6 at the low end and likes acidic soil. Our soil barely rates as ‘acidic’, most nutrition is locked up. Might try it anyway though on the southeast wall, well protected from the north winds. Thanks for the tip!

          1. i just don't like the gravy

            The hardiness rating for figs is a bit misleading. Most (if not all figs) die below 0F when exposed for extended periods. I know people in 6 and 7 who’ve had bad winters where all above-ground growth dies.
            However, for all of them including your zone 5, they will regrow from the roots, which are much hardier. I think you’d have to be zone 4 before you need to worry about the ground getting cold enough to kill the root mass. The mulch is key as it insulates the earth and maintains whatever is ambient temperature for your region/microclimate.

            1. Lexx

              Perhaps a few words of advice on what you consider sufficient mulch, how thick and of what kind? The lemongrass and ginger have a couple of inches of gorilla hair around them now, left over from planting a flame maple.

              Husband reports we have a few bags of unused cedar bark out back. We were out mulching fallen leaves yesterday and I saw some spots that could use covering. It’s been very dry here.

      2. Lex

        It’s always worth a try. “I just don’t like the gravy” gives the best advice on this already. Likely one of those things that you’ll win some and you’ll lose some depending on the winter.

  18. VT Digger

    ICBM “Urgently needed” LoL. By whom? Silo based missiles have been strategic boondoggles since the Ohio class subs were launched in the 80s….

    Just another jobs program.

    1. ambrit

      “Just another jobs program.”
      Don’t forget all the jobs in “adversarial” missile targeting. Those Russian, Chinese, French, and Israeli missileers need lots of targets to justify their department budgets. America, having the second biggest stockpile, is a natural targeter’s paradise.
      “You see Senator, for every new job produced by the missile program, three jobs are produced overseas in foreign military counter battery missile management. It’s a geopolitical ‘soft power’ dream!”

    2. Glen

      That headline is a bit of a smokescreen. The Minuteman missiles are older then heck, and to be honest, will be hard to replace, but the other article is dropping hints to the real problem:

      Behind the Scenes at a U.S. Factory Building New Nuclear Bombs

      Not everyone believes this work is necessary. Pit production foments controversy because it’s costly and potentially risky and because the existing pits might still work for a while. The physics of plutonium is complex, and no one knows when the original pits will expire.

      Emphasis mine.

      You want to test a Minuteman missile? Take one to Vandenberg and send it down range. You want to test a nuke warhead? That hasn’t been done in a long, long time since the Test Ban Treaty was signed and enacted:

      Operation Julin

      And note that the warheads on the Tridents are the same age as the warheads on the Minuteman.

  19. jefemt

    Colorado Court decision on Trump 14th Amendment. One more reason I could never make it as a Lawyer- my weak head.
    Not an Officer, but universally recognized as Commander- in-Cheese.
    Was she setting a trap, for the Appeal and Appeal arguments?

    One-dimensional mind in a poly-dimensional spherical world. It’s been a challenge all these low years…

  20. griffen

    Taking a pause this morning, to play a tiny violin for the “RIP” article on Goldman Sachs. Pity the dominant species on Wall Street, no longer so rich and wealthy as they eviscerate their enemies in the proverbial annual rankings. \ sarc

    I only recall the author for her pertinent and timely articles regarding the rise and precipitous fall of Enron, and the halcyon days of their brief time on the stage as the “best energy” company in the history of mankind. Enron shares, buy high and sell at $0 !

      1. digi_owl

        Going public always seem to lead to inevitable decline.

        It just takes a bit longer to be noticeable when the company is an early entrant into a new market.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Smearing Photojournalists as Hamas Collaborators Gets Them Added to a Hit List”

    They also have a history of targeting and killing journalists even before this war began. Journalists seem to be fair game to them and just a day or so ago a Turkish TV crew was in East Jerusalem’s Old City reporting on troubles there when an Israeli armed cop came up and smashed the lens of their camera with his rifle barrel-

    1. digi_owl

      surprised it is a full crew, as more and more reporting seems to be done using a phone and a few wireless devices for audio.

  22. LawnDart

    Re; Smearing Photojournalists as Hamas Collaborators Gets Them Added to a Hit List

    A list of the missing, injured, and dead:

    Journalist casualties in the Israel-Gaza war

    Editor’s note: The list below is CPJ’s most complete account of journalist deaths in the war. Our database will not reflect many of these casualties until we have fully investigated the circumstances surrounding them.

    …[T]he deadliest month for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992.

    Killing doctors and nurses, killing aid workers, bombing schools, hospitals and refugee camps, and murdering those who attempt to expose these crimes– this is what Israeli “democracy” looks like.

    Sponsored by Genocide Joe and your American Tax-Dollars.

    1. show_me

      Israel is using the same arguments in their campaign against the Palestinians as the Turks used when they went after the Armenians. After commandeering their lands and decades of pogroms and repression there were some skirmishes that may or may not have originated with the Armenians.

      Clearly there was only one solution. Exterminate the vermin. Drive whoever is left from their land in a terrifying genocidal Exodus.

      The ultimate irony is that that horror story was used in 1930’s Germany as an example of what you can get away with if you put your mind to it. Especially when you only tell one side of the story.

  23. griffen

    OpenAI executive fired and dismissed with little warning or notice on a Friday afternoon. My immediate arm chair conclusion was he is either absolutely full of it, or perhaps somewhere on the creep spectrum with regards to his office colleagues. And to add, what a damn shame.

    Sam Altman maybe just was not the next Steve Jobs or a Wozniak after all. I can’t say that I’ve seen any such comparisons so I’m just taking a well informed guess on what “IT visionary” he most closely resembles.

      1. griffen

        Consulting my brief (ok limited to 3 albums), but brilliant collection of CD offerings by Radiohead I see an entry which perhaps fit with this commentary. Paranoid Android. From the incredible OK Computer. I recall this video linked below pretty well. I kinda lost interest, for varied reasons, after their Kid A was released.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Redefining Success in Ukraine”

    The sad bit is that the writers imagine that the west can still control how this war turns out and what conditions that the Russians will have to accept. Do they actually believe this? The Ukrainians are now telling themselves that there was no great counter-offense and that-

    ‘The war is being waged not only on the ground and in the air, but also in the minds [of people]. In the future, Ukrainian psyops will be analyzed in textbooks. One of the most successful such operations is the ‘counteroffensive’. For several months, we deceived the enemy, claiming that we were conducting a large-scale offensive operation. Our cyber troops spread this information on the enemy’s social networks and [implanted it] in their minds. For several months, Russians have been subjected to a powerful psychological attack while our troops are getting stronger [and preparing] for a real counteroffensive.”’

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Meh, these Ukrainians are pikers. Nothing to compare to the classic O.J. Simpson psy-op:

      “I need to be acquitted so I can spend the rest of my life looking for the real killers”

    2. pjay

      Richard Haass vs. Michael McFaul – there is definitely some disagreement among the foreign policy elite over the dilemma of Ukraine. McFaul’s article is so delusional that I feel it necessary to emphasize his credentials, from the article bio:

      “Michael McFaul is the director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, a professor of political science, and a Hoover Institution senior fellow, all at Stanford University. In the Obama administration, he was a U.S. ambassador to Russia, a senior director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council, and a special assistant to the president.”

      With expertise like this…

      Richard Haass, of course, was the long-time President on the Council on Foreign Relations and therefore the very definition of Establishment. For anyone who thinks he is anything but a propagandist, I’d recommend reading his articles appearing just a few months ago in which he sounds exactly like McFaul.

      Fortunately, as Allen Dulles usefully noted, Americans don’t read. And those in our “intelligentsia” who do have no memory.

  25. bassmule

    For any who skipped over Deborah Feldman:
    “I was raised by a Holocaust survivor….I firmly believe that there is only one legitimate doctrine of the Holocaust. And that is the absolute unconditional defense of human rights for everyone. Anyone who wants to exploit the Holocaust to justify further violence has forfeited their own humanity. I will not allow the hatred of these people, the hatred of this journalist who wants to fantasize about me being held hostage in Gaza to turn me into a person who hates others.”

  26. lyman alpha blob

    There have been a few links in recent days regarding Starbucks labor action. I wanted to point out that in my neck of the woods, Starbucks has done the cut nose/spite face routine twice in the last year.

    They shuttered one prominent downtown location about a year ago due to unionization efforts –

    And a 2nd downtown location just closed recently –

    That 2nd link doesn’t give unionization as the reason, but that’s what I’m hearing anyway.

    Meanwhile, a local coffee shop accepted the union –

    Coffee by Design has a few stores in the area and one did close recently due to lack of business, but the workers were all given jobs at a different location from what I understand.

    If you’re in Maine looking for coffee, you know where to go. And I hope Starbucks closes every one of its damned stores – that’ll really teach us!

  27. Carolinian

    That’s an interesting Suplicius

    Israel did not appear to have a good bead on the pulse of the global awakening. They were sclerotically stuck just a few years behind the times, still thinking this was the late 2010s with the peak of Big Tech’s sprawling domination of our minds, and the omnipotent Leftist Narrative seizure.

    Bubbles do burst.

      1. skippy

        “Leftist Narrative seizure” – Ha! … at this point – is – where I ask them to show me the arguments about ownership of ones own productivity and class based analysis of societal dysfunction.

        Then kicking back as I watch the mental gears start eating themselves … good times ~~~~

  28. Lord Pullo

    Looks like SARS-CoV2 is becoming endogenous (in the sense of a regularly visiting a library) to the gut/lung microbiomes.

    Human microbiota is a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 advantageous mutations

    From the abstract: “Here, we show that the human microbiota may contribute to mutations in variants of concern (VOCs). We identified a mutation and adjacent 6 amino acids (aa) in a viral mutation fragment (VMF) and searched for homologous fragments (HFs) in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database. Among the approximate 8000 HFs obtained, 61 mutations in S and other outer membrane proteins were found in bacteria, accounting for 62% of all mutation sources, which is a 12-fold higher than the natural variable proportion. Approximately 70% of these bacterial species belong to the human microbiota, are primarily distributed in the gut or lung and exhibit a composition pattern similar to that of COVID-19 patients. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) replicates corresponding bacterial mRNAs harboring mutations, producing chimeric RNAs. Collectively, SARS-CoV-2 may acquire mutations from the human microbiota, resulting in alterations in the binding sites or antigenic determinants of the original virus”

  29. ChrisFromGA

    Re: South Korea & exams

    Now there is a country that takes education seriously:

    The nine-hour test, which is being taken by 504,588 pupils this year, is crucial for securing spots in top universities. It is also considered key to elevated social status, lucrative careers, and even marriage prospects.

    Meanwhile, test scores continue to fall here in Rome I mean the US.

    To reduce noise disruption during the listening portion of the English test, Seoul’s transportation ministry has announced a nationwide ban on all aircraft takeoffs and landings outside of emergency situations.

    The ban will be in effect for 35 minutes, from 1.05pm to 1.40pm local time (0405 to 0440 GMT).

    With the exception of aircraft in distress, all airborne planes must maintain an altitude higher than 3,000m during the restricted time.

    I can just hear our airline CEO’s screaming at their lobbyists if such a thing were ever to be contemplated here in the good old USA.

    Airline CEO: I pay you to buy off that corrupt, clown-world Congress! Get on the phone with that stooge now and tell him if you don’t stop this aircraft takeoff ban I’ll cut off the money!!

    Lobbyist: Sorry, Ed, it’s for the chillrun!!

    1. furnace

      Test scores aren’t a good measure of education, and in any case Korea’s approach is clearly not a good idea, viz. the suicide demographics and statistics. Now, of course I’m not arguing that US education is good, but good education is one that is neither test-focused nor utterly wrecked like the US approach. What is needed is good investment, good opportunities and competent professionals (which you only get by paying well).

      1. skippy

        Remember the fad about cutting the soft tissue under the tongue, reportedly to better pronounce English around 10 years ago in Korea. Kids. Korean culture can be both so beautiful and at the same time brutal. Lived there for two and a half years in the late 70s early 80s.

  30. Anthony K Wikrent

    RE: “What America’s shoplifting panic is really about — CNN.”
    No consideration of immiseration and worsening economic precarity as possible drivers of increased soplifting.

    RE: “One-third of U.S. newspapers as of 2005 will be gone by 2024 — Axios,”
    The philosophy of civic republicanism clearly posits that a basic requirement of successful self-government is a functioning and independent news media. Framed in these terms, it should be a no-brainer that economic concentration in media is a very, very bad thing. Private equity ownership and looting of news media is just the latest example of how large concentrations of wealth are dangerous to the survival of a republic. There are other considerations society must value more highly than just profits.

    1. Feral Finster

      What on earth makes you think that TPTB see civic republicanism as necessary or desirable?

      Think like something between “Brave New World”, “Fahrenheit 451” and “1984” is where we’re going.

  31. Jason Boxman

    On real wages. Even if true, clearly not enough to prevent this:

    America is facing its ‘worst rate of hunger’ in years, food banks say. Here’s why. (11/17/23)

    Hunger in America is unabating, and in 2023, safety nets meant to catch people at their most vulnerable are seeing spikes in visits compared to last year.

    Food bank leaders from all corners of the country tell USA TODAY their neighborhood pantries are serving more people while using less resources, as economic pressures continue to ravage the budgets of low-income Americans and service providers alike.

    Not seeing anything about bread lines in the NY Times lately, like, in six months. It’s counter to the Bidenomics as Awesome message.

    1. Jason Boxman

      After inflation peaked in June 2022, high prices have come down a little in 2023. But unlike most other consumer categories, inflation in grocery prices has remained stubbornly high.

      Because a greater share of poor Americans’ income is spent at the grocery store, inflationary food prices take a heavier toll on their budgets, Hall said, adding that seniors he works with have to decide between paying for medicine and procedures or having meals.

      That’s Bidenomics at work!

      A decreasing rate of inflation is definitely not grocery price deflation. No one in the White House seems to get that.

      1. tegnost

        Micheal Hudson was on with Glenn Diesen and Alexander Mercouris today at the duran. It was great and they touched on the disconnect between the classes and how gdp includes late payments, higher rent, higher general costs, and those who are collecting that dough of course think everything is great!

  32. ChrisFromGA

    Shine on, you Jamie Diamond

    Remember when you were young? (ha-ha-ha)
    You grifted for fun
    Shine on, you Jamie Diamond

    Now there’s a look in your eyes
    Like Black-Sholes gone awry
    Shine on, you Jamie Diamond

    You were caught in the crossfire
    Of finance and swindles
    Blown on a bubble’s breeze
    Come on, you target, for DNC ventures
    Come on, you lover of servants, indentured, and shine!

    You reached for the bailout too soon
    You howled at the moon
    Shine on, you Jamie Diamond
    Threatened by Epstein Air flights
    But with alibi, airtight!
    Shine on, you Jamie Diamond

    Well you wore out your welcome
    With bankster precision
    Blown on a bubble’s breeze
    Come on you raver, you whisperer of pigmen
    Come on you cretin,
    You RTO piper, and shine!

  33. Jason Boxman

    From Behind the Scenes at a U.S. Factory Building New Nuclear Bombs

    We were there as the lab and the broader National Nuclear Security Administration Complex were embarking on a charm offensive to support the new plutonium work. They have to win over the tax-paying public and recruit some 2,500 new employees for the job. Some of those workers must do high-hazard work that requires expertise the country has largely let slip since the last days of the cold war.

    First, I’d like to thank Obama, our noble peace laureate, for initiating a new nuclear arms race with Russia and China.

    The first pits will be designed for a weapon called W87-1, which will tip the new intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sentinel.

    (bold mine)

    Note lack of agency and order.

    Instead China is rapidly growing its nuclear arsenal, and Russia, at war with Ukraine, touts new missile tests and its own nuclear modernization. The U.S. is doing the same.

    Second, won’t it be great when people with COVID brain damage are assembling these dangerous, radioactive plutonium pits, that we don’t really know how to make anymore anyway. This is genius level stupidity in action. I’m so excited to be alive for it.

  34. Tom Stone

    Once again, I do not believe anyone can understand US Policy toward Israel and the Middle East without reading volume 1 of Whitney Webb’s “One Nation under Blackmail”.
    Her two volumes are among the saddest things I have ever read, they had an emotional impact as great or greater than Alfred McCoy’s “The Politics of Heroin in S.E.Asia” which I picked up at Shakespeare and Co. on Telegraph Avenue in 1973.
    The conclusion of Volume 2 asserts that Maxwell and Epstein were no longer needed as “Total Information Awareness” made such honeypots unnecessary.

  35. Wukchumni


    It was National Trails day or something like that yesterday, so I formed a startup i’m calling:

    WeWalk and it could revolutionize the way you put one leg in front of the other and alternate.

  36. DJG, Reality Czar

    Smart People by JoAnn Wypijewski.

    I was at a concert and came back for a sweep of the news articles here: Glad I did.

    I haven’t seen an article by JoAnn Wypijewski in a while. (Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places.)

    Definitely worth your while. Plenty of details, excellent insights.

    Like this:
    “[Sam Bankman-Fried’s] reference in court to people using crypto to ‘buy muffins’ or ‘pay rent’ – rather than, say, hire hitmen, fund private armies or steal from each other – was another, albeit minor, instance of giving a wholesome veneer to a fundamentally fraudy segment of an already deeply exploitative sector of the economy.”

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        britzklieg: Thanks for the link. For some reason, I awoke this morning thinking about the whole “Trump and Putin gay lovers” thing that went on for a while, especially among so-called satirists like Stephen Colbert. Funny how the laminate on the surface of civilization detaches so readily.

        Her class analysis is excellent.

    1. britzklieg

      from the linked study:

      “its efficacy is still unknown.”

      “No vaccination-related serious adverse events or deaths were observed.”

      “Although this trial did not meet the predefined efficacy criteria for success, dNS1-RBD was well tolerated and protective against omicron variants, both as a primary immunisation and as a heterologous booster.”

    2. Ignacio

      I took a look to the results and there are interesting findings there to analyse apart from overall vaccine efficacy. The trial included vaccinated and placebo groups and all the groups included people who had no previous history of SARS CoV 2 infection. Yet, within both groups about half hadn’t been previously vaccinated while the other had been. Among the previously vaccinated about 1/3 had been vaccinated with inactivated virus, another third with adenovirus-based vaccines and the last third with mRNA-based vaccines. If you compare totally naive (uninfected + unvaccinated) with overall infection rates of 1% for those vaccinated with the nasal vaccine and 2,2% for the placebo group with the uninfected-vaccinated: 4,5% rates for those vaccinated again with the nasal vaccine and 5,8% among placebo recipients you can make some interesting speculations:

      1) Vaccination against former variants make you more susceptible to Omicron variants with differences I believe to be significant (1% to 4,5% among recipients of nasal vaccines and 2,2% to 5,8% among placebo recipients.
      2) There it seems to be some “original sin” effect. Rates of infection rise from 1% to 4,5% from totally naive to those previously vaccinated and all administered the nasal vaccine. A more significant difference.

      We see that what hampered the efficacy of the nasal vaccine was mostly previous vaccination history. It is a pity that amongst those previously vaccinated they didn’t de-aggregate data according to the type of vaccine previously delivered. They had enough numbers to do so with about 2.000 recipients in each category.

      1. Ignacio

        It can be made the case that the extremely high infection rates with Omicron reached during the 2012-2022 winter were in very much part due to previous vaccination campaigns. Not just or only higher pathogenicity.Think about that.

      2. Jason Boxman

        Thanks! This is a more interesting take than the cries of “oh noes, another intranasal failure” on the Twitter. It also confirms what I think IM Doc has found in regards to vaccination and his patient groups.

        That makes formulating policy somewhat challenging; we should not have mandated these COVID shots, but should we have even made them? It seems they initially did save lives amongst the most vulnerable, but that’s coming with a cost; did we just defer deaths of those most susceptible? It’s hard to sort all this if done from a position of honesty and integrity, and then our public health response has been anything but honest.

  37. Screwball

    Today’s Twitter is ablaze with new footage of the Jan. 6 insurrection released by the GOP House. I used insurrection because that’s what so many call it. I wonder why they did this on a news dump day (I think it was yesterday, a Friday)?

    I expect the sporting event known a partisan politics ratchets up a notch in the next week or so over this. My PMC friends have already said it is all BS and all the GOP is doing is gaslighting Americans to think it wasn’t an insurrection. They then paid homage to Liz Cheney. It would be fun to give them the tape of Pelosi running her mouth while her daughter films everything just to see the spin they would come up with to convince me this was our latest Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

    You can only laugh and shake your head at all this. The irony is so think.

    1. petal

      Screwball, get this-Liz Cheney’s talk at Dartmouth got rescheduled from this past October to…January 5th.
      It will be livestreamed, so I’ll post the link closer to the date. I’m sure everyone will want to tune in.

      1. Screwball

        Maybe it’s just me, but when Liz Cheney is giving talks at places like that, we as a nation are not in a good place. I can’t believe what I see today.

  38. Jason Boxman

    Mark your calendars. I’m staking this prediction.

    Five or whatever years from now, when children conceived during the “lockdowns” show behavioral problems and educational deficits, the blame will be put squarely on the lockdowns and epigenetic damage. Mark my words. And they’ll extend it to any woman of childbearing age that got pregnant after the lockdowns as well.

    Just watch.

    1. The Rev Kev

      No way am I going to be fool enough to take that bet. I am already seeing all sorts of problems being blamed on the lockdowns because they were so evil or something and laws are being changed to try to make sure that lockdowns will never happen again. Tough luck for us during the next pandemic.

  39. Gavin Smith

    Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of about 12,000 chemicals typically used to make thousands of products water-, stain- and heat-resistant. They do not naturally break down and accumulate in humans and the environment. A growing body of evidence links them to serious health problems such as cancer, birth defects, liver disease, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, high cholesterol and decreased immunity. Maine bans use of sewage sludge on farms to reduce risk of PFAS poisoning

    Researchers from Texas Tech University checked 10 insecticides that were being used on cotton, but can also be used on food and other crops.

    Battle brewing over proposed US laws to protect pesticide companies

    1. NYMutza

      Check the plastic containers for food and personal hygiene products that you purchase and consume. If they are stamped with a “2” HDPE the plastic containers were most likely fluorinated and thus contain PFAS. The FDA does not prohibit fluorination of plastic.

    1. Late Introvert

      As a video editor for the last 4 decades, my first question is where is the rest of the footage?

      But also, able to skim quickly, it’s mostly peaceful and cops mostly cooperate and are friendly. Can you imagine if it was anyone other than white folks of a certain age waving American and Trump flags, getting that friendly reception?

      Where is the rest of the footage? And why are there so few cops, and why are they are so friendly, and why does it look like they are staging something with cosplay protesters in and out of cuffs? Sorry, I don’t have times, I wasn’t taking notes. I will take a much closer pass and report back if there is interest.

      I also wonder who this Box video CDN is, usually the Feds use Screwgle, which I’ve complained about to my red state reps.

  40. ChrisRUEcon


    The “uptick” just got real in my neck of the woods. Two people in circle of friends/family +ve this week. Seeing more people masking, but not nearly enough, and still a lot of baggy blues. If your local cashiers are starting to mask, things are getting worse, but still … not most of them … #Sigh

    Thanksgiving is gonna be a mess.


    1. ChrisRUEcon


      Foreign businesses have been pulling money out of China at a faster rate than they have been putting it in, official data shows.

      The country’s slowing economy, low interest rates and a geopolitical tussle with the US have sparked doubt about its economic potential.

      Proving yet again that rats are first off a sinking ship. “Sinking”, being of course, the perception of the rodents.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      ChrisRUEcon: Between September 1 and October 15, I heard from four friends who live in Chicago who came down with Covid, none of the cases being mild. Then a friend in NYC. So a total of five, none of which were exactly asymptomatic.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        DJG, Reality Czar: Indeed, it’s a crap shoot. There’s no “seasonality”, only crests and troughs of positivity in seemingly asynchronous rhythm from state-to-state and region-to-region. However, the “biggest holiday travel week of the year” threatens to bring unison to the myriad.

  41. Matthew G. Saroff

    That cat walking in the snow has markings that look like the squared off mustache worn by that unpleasant German chap.

    What do you call a cat with that color, a Kitler?

    1. Yves Smith

      My mother’s first cat, which she picked up at a shelter, had languished because it bore a very strong resemblance to the Fuhrer by virtue of being a white cat with a few black markings….including a trim black mustache. Named Kitty. Turned out to be very neurotic and died in the sofa bed.

      1. Matthew G. Saroff

        All of my cats are neurotic, each in their own distinct, and wonderful way.

        Right now I have an 8 pound black Queen, who grabs my hand and demands to be petted, and she dominates a 17 pound long hair gray and white Tom who loves to be brushed, and will sit on your legs in bed but refuses to sit on a lap.

        I love my cats.

        1. Yves Smith

          My mother’s second cat was NOT neurotic. Named Michael for Michael Redgrave. Tabby with a white bib and feet. Very gentlemanly. Would put his mouth on your wrist if he wanted you to stop petting him and would then give you a bite if you didn’t get the message.

          He grew up with the neighbor’s dog (we had photos of them sleeping together) so he was not afraid of dogs. Of course, weighing 27 lbs. didn’t hurt either.


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